Coming off the heels of the news that Sony was canceling the theatrical release of The Interview, the U.S. government has found that North Korea was behind the Sony hack after all — or at least "centrally involved," according to the New York Times. Sources wouldn't talk to the paper on the record, but multiple people in the intelligence community assure the Times that North Korea ordered the cyberattack, and CNN backs them up, saying the U.S. government is currently debating how best to deal with North Korea. Opinions reportedly differ on whether Kim Jong-Un's regime was aided by any former or current Sony employees. Either way, according to the Times, "intelligence officials have concluded" the cyberattack was "far more destructive than any seen before on American soil."
An Indiana police corporal who created and is selling shirts emblazoned with the phrase "Breathe Easy, Don't Break the Law" swears they have nothing to do with Eric Garner's famous last words, "I can't breathe." God, you guys have such active imaginations.
Give Governor Andrew Cuomo credit. He has been consistent, for nearly four years, in saying he would let the scientific facts decide whether to allow fracking in New York State. “It’s going to come down to the health commissioner and the environmental commissioner,” he told me, for the most recent time, in October. “I want a recommendation. And I’m going to follow it. Period. Politically, it doesn’t matter.”
And this afternoon Cuomo’s commissioners, siding with the studies that show the gas-extraction process to be either dangerous or of indeterminate risk, slammed the door on fracking. “The costs could overwhelm local governments,” said Joe Martens, the environmental head. “Would I let my child play in a field nearby? My answer is no,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, the Health Department boss. Their reports were so one-sided it made you wonder what took so long.
President Obama waited until a day after the conclusion of the 113th Congress to announce efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, but unsurprisingly the biggest shift in relations between the two countries in five decades drew passionate responses from lawmakers now dispersed around the country. While most noted that they're happy to see American Alan Gross released after five years in Cuban captivity, many went on to lambast the president in especially harsh terms for the historic move. "The president’s decision to reward the Castro regime and begin the path toward the normalization of relations with Cuba is inexplicable," said Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American. "Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naiveté during his final two years in office."
On its own, last week's news that Republican Texas Representative Blake Farenthold registered the domain name "Blow-me.org" when he owned a computer consulting business in the '90s is amusing, but inconsequential. However, add that to a new lawsuit accusing the congressman of sexual harassment (plus an old photo of Farenthold wearing duckie pajamas and standing next to a lingerie model) and you've got one of the more colorful accusations of congressional misconduct in recent memory.
How much did you make in 2014? If you’re a New Yorker, $50,000 to $70,000 is a good guess, and you probably spent nearly all of that on the cost of living in New York. It’s about 330,000 times less than the individual who saw the biggest gains in the market in 2014, according to Wealth-X, a firm that researches high net-worth individuals.
Amid the massive protests in recent weeks over the non-indictments in the cop killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, we've seen walkouts from Black Congressional staffers in D.C., New York City Councilmembers, and countless college and high-school students. Grade-school kids seem to have been few, though, among the civil disobedients.
Fung Wah, the bus operator that promised you cheap travel from New York to Boston for the price of sitting next to a guy who keeps hunching over in his seat to subtly hit a crack pipe, is set to reopen in 2015 after being shut down by the feds last year. Hopefully this time the seats will have less puke on them.